SCAM ALERT: 4 tips to protect yourself from utility scams this holiday season

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Dominion Energy has joined Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) to recognize the sixth annual Utility Scam Awareness Day on November 17.

UUAS, made up of nearly 150 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, natural gas utility companies, and their respective trade associations, aims to raise awareness of common utility scams and how customers can protect themselves.

Dominion Energy reports that as the holiday season approaches, there is a surge in scam phone calls seeking customer payment, personal, and financial information in order to avoid a utility shutdown.

“An immediate red flag is when someone calls you claiming to be a utility representative and threatens to disconnect your service if you don’t make an immediate payment over the phone,” Utibe Bassey, Dominion Energy’s Vice President of Customer Service, said. “That’s a telltale sign of a scam because we don’t use scare tactics, and we never demand immediate payment over the phone.”

Bassey said the best way to protect yourself is to know what a scam sounds like and what to do if you have been targeted.

The following tips could prevent you from becoming the next victim of a utility scam:

  1. Slow Down– Utility scammers often pressure customers to act quickly by instilling fear and a sense of urgency.
  2. Stop– Utility companies, including Dominion Energy, never demand immediate payment and do not accept payment using prepaid debit cards or gift cards.
  3. Hang up– It may appear on Caller ID that a scammer is calling from a legitimate utility company. When in doubt, do not provide any personal information and hang up immediately.
  4. Verify– Scammers typically do not know the current balance on your account. Check the scammer’s claim by logging into your Dominion Energy account or contacting the number on your phone bill.

Learn more about the warning signs and what you can do to protect yourself and your family at dominionenergy.com/scams.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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